I went to the ASJA writing conference last year and met Holly Tucker, a dynamic Vanderbilt professor who has joint appointments in the department of the history of medicine and the department of French and Italian. When she heard I was a medical writer, she eagerly told me about her upcoming book, Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution. I couldn’t wait for it to come out!
In the book, the history of blood transfusion is wrapped around a historical murder mystery involving a French physician, Jean-Baptiste Denis, whose experimental transfusions were as much about trying something new, as it was making himself rich and famous. Denis had a fair number of detractors who wanted the transfusions to end. Continue reading